The expert commented on the conflict of the Russian Orthodox Church with Constantinople

© RIA Novosti / Vitaly to Belowaverage in fotobanka St. Basil’s Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin. Archival photoThe expert commented on the conflict of the Russian Orthodox Church with Constantinople© RIA Novosti / Vitaly to Belowaverage the image Bank

The decision of the Russian Church about Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople — the second such incident in the last thousand years of history of the Russian Church, in the early 1990-ies such events have occurred in Estonia, told RIA Novosti leading researcher and head of the Center for the study of problems of religion and society Institute of Europe RAS, candidate of philosophical Sciences, Roman Lunkin.

The Synod of the Russian Church on Friday went to the actual «break diplomatic relations» with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, after he was appointed its Exarch to Ukraine is a canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. In particular, it decided to cease commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I during the Patriarch’s divine services in and out of structures, where preside the representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The first time the Russian Orthodox Church interrupted the Eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1996, when Constantinople granted autonomy to the Orthodox parishes in Estonia. In Kiev today often refer to this precedent, speaking about a possible escalation of the conflict between the two churches.

«In Estonia after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Declaration of independence was created parallel Orthodox jurisdiction, which recognized the Patriarchate of Constantinople,» reminded Lunkin.

«This jurisdiction was separated from the Moscow Patriarchate, and from the point of view of the Russian Orthodox Church it has become a fact of blatant interference in its territory. Accordingly, the decision was made to cease not only canonical, but also the Eucharistic communion, the priests were not able to serve together and to commune the faithful in the Liturgy,» he said.

According to the expert, now the situation is «not quite» – the Synod of the Russian Church adopted a rather administrative measures against Constantinople «as to some structure,» primarily aimed «at undermining the authority of Patriarch Bartholomew.» «While we, believers, are able to walk together in the churches of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Greece or in the monasteries of mount Athos, there to partake in the service, but the clergy, of course, more to serve together,» he explained.

The final rupture of relations, according to the expert, more than likely, if Constantinople refuses to convene a pan-Orthodox conference on the Ukrainian issue. «It will mean that they have appointed an Exarch in Kyiv will decide, and Patriarch Bartholomew bless all,» concluded Lunkin.

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